Being a Mentor has been a challenging undertaking for me. I thought my qualifications would ease me into the role without a hitch, but I was wrong. Just because I raised three sons as a single parent did not prepare me for a fourteen year old girl. When we met back in the Middle school in 2009 she was ecstatic about receiving a scholarship and had the grades to back her up. But she just needed to maintain her grades and also turn in her work timely.
For some of us this might seem like an easy task to accomplish but when you don’t have the tools or support, it can be overwhelming. On the positive side she has loving grandparents willing to raise her and her brother but in so many ways it is challenging for them. They had enforced a “strict code of behavior” and it had no free time with outside friends. For a teenager this became a sore spot and gradually the grades slid, the absences began along with tardiness. As her Mentor, I worried that I was not being strong enough or even being gullible believing her excuses. It seemed that with my own children I knew more or less, when they were not telling the truth yet with Sophia I just didn’t know and I could not even hint (that I thought) she was lying to me.
By the end of the school year she was on probation with the scholarship program pending their decision to drop or keep her. Sophia had a meeting with all of the faculty, teachers and the board and after much discussion they decided to keep her in the program but on probation until she shows an improved average in all of her classes.
She stated that she wanted me to continue as her Mentor and the board agreed and also appointed a co-mentor from the guidance department to assist me and Sophia. Yesterday was the second time I met with Sophia and she had her progress report. Her smile was from ear to ear as she handed it over to me and as my eyes glanced over the report I smiled at all the A’s and B’s. I was so happy to take her photo wearing her proud smile and I am so pleased that I didn’t give up on her. In my heart of hearts I feel she needs me as much as I need her and the rewards are priceless.
Current Mood: Happy